Gattaca is a highly polished movie involving perseverance as a theme, the lower notes being very ominous and disquieting. This story falls somewhere in between "1984," "Brave New World," and "Fahrenheit 451."
The film is a snapshot of a possible future, where genetically manipulated humans are automatically regarded as superiors to those conceived in natural birth -- since most known defects are eradicated.
Ethan Hawke is depicted as as an individual with amazing willpower and determination to enter an elite space program though natural born). He goes to great lengths -- including buying a disabled genetic superior (Jude Law) who supplies fingernail clipping, skin cells, blood, urine, and hair samples -- thereby placating the rigorous testing of space program physicians. Complications arise when there is a murder at the space program office.
The interplay between Ethan Hawke, Jude law, Uma Thurma, Alan Arkin, and Gore Vidal is exemplary. From the onset of the film to its ending, there is a lot of tension and uncertainty. This is a film that depends on acting -- as opposed to explosions.
The "action" is minimal. Most of the uneasiness is manifested from a psychological level. The film is a well-crafted suspense film contained to the psychological realm -- and in my mind this propels the flick to a pretty high level of sci fi sophistication.
In that vein, the script is highly unique, very well conceived and written. This will be a blessing to sci fi fans who crave more realistic portrayals of the craft, and an unending bore for those who can only be satisfied with large explosions and blood splatter.